Ten Catholics Who Made Contributions to Science

 Throughout the centuries many Catholics have been prominent in the sciences. Here are just a few of them.

Gabriele Falloppio.

1)      Gabriele Falloppio (1523-1562) - Anatomy of Ear and Reproductive Organs

Falloppio engaged in detailed descriptions of the ear: the Fallopian canal which he discovered is named after him.

He also engaged in detailed descriptions of the reproductive organs: the Fallopian tubes which he discovered are names after him.


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2) Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625-1712) - Measurer of the Solar Systen

Cassini was among the first scientists to measure the dimension of the solar system. He used two different observational stations to measure the parallax of Mars in 1672 and estimated that the distance from the earth to the sun was 140,000,000,000 meters [the current accepted value is 149,597,870,691 meters].


3) André-Marie Ampère (1775-1836)- Researcher on Electricity

In 1826 Ampère developed his famous Ampère’s Law of electricity. The unit of electrical current, the ampere, is named after him (from which we get words like amplifier, amp, etc.) [incidentally two other units of electricity, the coulomb and the volt, are also named after Catholic physicists].

Ampère was also a well-known spiritualist philosopher and as such wrote works defending Catholicism against the attack of atheist materialists: Essai sur la philosophie de sciences (1834) and Philosophie des deux Ampère (1866).

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4) Jean-Baptiste Dumas (1800-1884) - Weigher of Elements

 Dumas measured the atomic weights of thirty elements in 1858-1860. He also found that the kidneys filter the blood and  produce urea.

He gave many addresses wherein he defended Catholicism against the attacks of atheist materialists such as his addresses on Jacques Étienne Bérard and Michael Faraday, and his introduction of Hippolyte Taine into the French Academy.


5) Theodor Schwann (1810-1882) - Developer of Cell Theory

Schwann is famous for extending cell theory and showing that cells are the basis of both plant and animal life [the so-called Schleiden-Schwann cell theory].

Schwann also analyzed the function of pepsin in digestion in the stomach.

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6) Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrier (1811-1877) - Finder of the planet Neptune.

Le Verrier used the mathematical discrepancies between the observed orbit of the Planet Uranus and Newton's Laws to predict the location of the new planet Uranus in 1846.




7) Armand Hippolyte Louis Fizeau (1819-1896) - Measurer of the Speed of Light.

In 1849 Fizeau made one of the first accurate measurements of the speed of light. He measured the speed of light to be 313,300 Km/s [current estimates put it at 299,792 Km/s].


8) Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934) - Discoverer of Neuron Function

Ramón y Cajal received the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his work (with Camille Golgi) in discovering the neuron and its axons and dendrites.





Image:Alexander Fleming.jpg 9) Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) - Discoverer of Antibiotics

Fleming serendipitously noticed that mold on bread stopped bacteria growth and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1954 for his discovery of penicillin.
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 Inlined from www.nndb.com

10) Albert Claude (1899-1983) - Discoverer of Endoplasmic Reticulum

Claude discovered the endoplasmic reticulum in 1945 which is used for transportation and storage of protein and fat. He received the Nobel Prize in 1974 for his work.

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